Monthly Archives: June 2012

L’Olivier Restaurant & Bar

We’re such fans of French food that this place had us with its name, not to mention the pedigree of its namesake chef/owner who served as the executive chef at Tony’s for a number of years.  Located on lower Westheimer, the newly renovated space is contemporary, cool, and comfortable.  Reservations are necessary, particularly on weekends.  Ours were honored right on time.  Valet parking is available and seems necessary, given the location.

We started, as we are prone to nowadays, with a couple of the special cocktails.  Lately, we’re into bourbon, and we enjoyed the restaurant’s version of a manhattan.  Our apppetizers included a silky smooth, rich chicken liver pate that even the one of us who is not a fan of chicken livers was scraping  off the plate.   The luscious pork rillettes (slightly underseasoned and improved with a sprinkling of sea salt) were generously served in a glass crock.   The raw oysters (progeny Pacific Northwest) were cool and briny, served with a nicely tart mignonette sauce.
For entrees, we tried two of the seafood dishes  — clams with linguini and whole grilled branzino (one of a number of fish specials).  Both were wonderfully fresh and deftly prepared.  The linguini let the flavor of the clams shine through with a light white wine sauce, not much butter, tinged with fennel and an ample serving of clams.  The boned, but head and tail on, branzino was delicious, topped with a lemon butter caper sauce and (curiously) sauteed broccoli.

Price points are reasonable — below $10 for starters and in the $20’s for entrees.  Wines are moderately priced.  Our service was very good.  We look forward to returning.
240 Westheimer